Greek island of Kea pays tribute to American archaeologist Miriam Caskey

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Greek island of Kea pays tribute to American archaeologist Miriam CaskeyCaskey initially came to Greece on a scholarship in 1955 and hasn’t left since

The northern Cycladic island of Kea (Tzia) recently paid tribute to American archaeologist Miriam Caskey for her contribution to the excavation of Aghia Irini, a key stopping point on trade routes across the Aegean Sea during the Bronze Age, ekathimerini.com notes in the following report.

“We were a team, the archaeologists and the local workers. But your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers brought knowledge of the ground and had a lot to teach the American archaeologists who had just taken their noses out of their books,” Caskey pointed out at a ceremony at the Folklore Museum of Kea in Mylopotamos in September.

Caskey initially came to Greece on a scholarship in 1955 and hasn’t left since. She was married to John Caskey, the former director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens who discovered the site at Aghia Irini and led excavations there from 1960 – a pivotal time for the island – until his death in 1981.

In 1957, Tzia had witnessed the shutdown of a factory that for 30 years had produced enamel tableware and army helmets – its 45-meter chimney in Korissia is listed as a historical monument. Shortly before that, a coal trading business where steam ships would stop to refuel had also folded. These two closures, among other factors, prompted a wave of immigration from the island, as people searched for work elsewhere.

The arrival of the American archaeological team came like a breath of fresh air for the cash-strapped, jobless islanders. Apart from the money the Americans spent on accommodation and food, they also employed carpenters, welders, guards and other workers to assist at the site. And come Saturday, the workers were handed an envelope with their name on it – a rare courtesy – with their week’s wages and possibly a small bonus, if the dig had yielded a particularly exciting find.

Many of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those workers attended the event to honor Caskey, who stood between her grandson Aris and her great-granddaughter Athena as she recounted stories from her life and her memories of Tzia well before it became the upscale holiday island it is currently.

Hailing from Philadelphia, Caskey went on to study archaeology and in World War II got a pilot’s license, taught air force pilots meteorology, folded parachutes, worked at an aircraft repair base and did anything else she could. “We all learned a lot from the war,” she remembered.

She spoke of the pale pink light of dawn as she saw Piraeus for the first time following an 11-day journey on the liner Olympia with her daughter Helen on September 20, 1955, working at the Ancient Agora and publishing a paper on the Myconos Vase, falling in love with Tzia and building a home there, and working on the rare clay statues that came to light at Aghia Irini, which were “unlike anything found anywhere else.”

She also remembered how there was only one telephone on the entire island at the time, and how old caiques were more reliable than the new ferry boats for sailing from the mainland port of Lavrio. She described the incarceration of the leaders of the 1967-74 military dictatorship at the island’s only big hotel and how the port of Aghios Nikolaos was barricaded by warships. Mainly she spoke of the locals’ anticipation of finally seeing the finds that were brought to light – with their help in some cases – in a special section of the Archaeological Museum of Kea that is currently being prepared by the Greek Archaeological Service.

Caskey also spoke of her future plans, saying she would like to see the names of all the excavation workers be included on the plaque that will be set up in the new exhibition area to honor their contribution. She is also planning to keep studying and writing about Aghia Irini.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Joy Coffman  License: CC-BY-SA 

Tornos
  1. 17/09 15:57

    Prime Minister briefed on restoration work at Ancient Greek theatre of Dodoni

  2. 17/09 15:52

    Greek Ministers taking part in Tallinn Digital Summit 2019

  3. 17/09 15:26

    New ABTA campaign aims to maintain customer confidence despite Brexit

  4. 17/09 15:02

    Tourism: TripAdvisor stops over 1m fake reviews, enforces penalties on 35k firms

  5. 17/09 14:49

    Athens appoints its first female Ambassador to Cyprus

  6. 17/09 13:42

    5th Panhellenic Conference of Hellenic Thermal Medicine Academy on Oct. 11-13

  7. 17/09 12:57

    Ambassador Pyatt: U.S. decisive factor in transforming energy landscape in Greece

  8. 17/09 10:04

    No ferry service in Greece next Tuesday due to 24h strike

  9. 16/09 15:33

    Expedia launches new podcast: "Out Travel The System"

  10. 16/09 15:29

    Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to meet US President Trump on September 24

  11. 16/09 15:18

    Greek state records primary surplus of €2.9 billion in January-August

  12. 16/09 14:39

    'Silk in Ancient Greece and its Resonance' event in Athens on September 19

  13. 16/09 14:27

    US gambling giants Mohegan and Hard Rock bid for Hellenikon casino in Greece

  14. 16/09 14:16

    Deputy Finance Minister: Greece will attain 3.5% primary surplus target in 2019

  15. 15/09 21:38

    UNWTO and Globalia launch 2nd Global Tourism Start-up Competition

  16. 15/09 20:31

    23rd UNWTO General Assembly: Tourism has ‘life-changing potential’

  17. 14/09 20:09

    Eminent Greek poet Nanos Valaoritis passes away at 98 (video)

  18. 13/09 22:16

    New Greek government to sell 30% share of Athens’ Airport

  19. 13/09 22:12

    Morocco wins vote to host World Tourism Organization General Assembly in 2021

  20. 13/09 22:05

    U.S. Ambassador visits works at northern Greek port of Alexandroupolis

  21. 13/09 21:25

    Strong winds keep ferries docked at Piraeus and Lavrion ports in Greece

  22. 13/09 20:25

    Classical-era shipwreck at Peristera off Alonisos island accessible from next summer

  23. 13/09 19:48

    Swedish interest in cooperation with Greece on medical tourism

  24. 13/09 01:11

    ESM: Stronger growth and lower interest rates can lead to lower surplus targets

  25. 13/09 00:55

    Greek President: Refusal to return Elgin Marbles 'offends British culture and history'

  26. 13/09 00:40

    Prime Minister stresses will to speed up asset development in Greece

  27. 13/09 00:15

    Bankruptcies set for 8% decrease in Greece during 2019

  28. 13/09 00:07

    Interest for unfinished commercial high-rise in downtown Piraeus Port

  29. 13/09 00:03

    Deputy Foreign Minister meets President of the Greek Festival of Sydney

  30. 12/09 22:23

    New bill foresees tighter rules for state officials and employers in Greece

  31. 12/09 20:19

    Greek unemployment rate eases to 16.9% of the workforce during Q2

  32. 12/09 17:12

    New York City Greek Film Festival to run between October 17-23

  33. 12/09 14:58

    Revenues and visitors to Greek museums and sites rise in May 2019

  34. 12/09 12:50

    IMF: High primary surplus targets a drag Greece's economic recovery

  35. 12/09 00:15

    Real estate: Another setback for Greece’s lagging land registry

  36. 11/09 23:05

    Just 26% of properties in Greece registered with national cadastre yet

  37. 11/09 22:46

    Niketown SoHo goes Greek to honour of NBA’s MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo

  38. 11/09 22:33

    Greek exports rebound in July 2018 posting a 7.2% increase

  39. 11/09 22:32

    Opinion poll: 'Honeymoon' period continues for new Greek government

  40. 11/09 21:28

    Greek government approves 'immediate action' to sell 30% stake in Athens airport

  41. 11/09 20:20

    UNWTO General Assembly opens with sustainability and innovation top of the agenda

  42. 11/09 19:41

    Greek FinMin to raise early repayment of IMF loans at Eurogroup

  43. 11/09 17:08

    Piraeus Bank supports €650 million infrastructure investment programme

  44. 11/09 13:41

    Greece and Bulgaria strengthen strategic partnership at bilateral and regional level

  45. 11/09 11:58

    Aegean Regatta will return to the Greek islands of the Dodecanese in 2020

  46. 10/09 23:53

    European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to open office in Thessaloniki

  47. 10/09 23:39

    Survey: Greek hotels continue to rate higher compared to competitor countries

  48. 10/09 15:53

    Atlas Obscura’s hidden world wonders now available on Airbnb

  49. 10/09 15:28

    Prime Minister: Greece to submit request on early IMF loan repayment this week

  50. 10/09 15:22

    Planet Jupiter’s recently discovered moons receive Ancient Greek names

  51. 10/09 13:30

    Psarotherma hot springs on Greek island of Samothrace recognised as therapeutic

  52. 10/09 01:15

    San Sebastian clinches UNWTO Award for Sustainability and Governance

  53. 09/09 23:05

    Show on rare Trebizond Alexander Romance Codex in Greek city of Thessaloniki

  54. 09/09 22:45

    Athens University opens its botanical garden to residents and tourists

  55. 09/09 22:30

    Slowing global air passenger demand growth for July

  56. 09/09 22:26

    Ministerial proposal on Greeks Abroad postal vote ready in mid October

  57. 09/09 21:27

    Rich Antiquity, Early Christian and Byzantine finds at excavation on Greek island of Kythnos

  58. 09/09 21:11

    New York Times feature on house hunting in Greek island of Crete

  59. 09/09 16:12

    Regional Governor of Attica meets Governor of Jeollanamdo Province of South Korea

  60. 09/09 14:09

    Greek PM: Crete Northern Motorway Axis, an inspiring project for the island

  61. 09/09 10:19

    Greek FM: Aegean Sea should be completely visible to authorities 24/7

  62. 09/09 01:05

    World Tourism Organization reports 4% growth in global tourism during H1 2019

  63. 09/09 00:46

    120 countries gather in Russia for World Tourism Organization General Assembly

  64. 08/09 21:33

    "Oloi Mazi Boroume" charity concert takes place in central Athens

  65. 08/09 21:15

    Indian Minister: Increasing trade with Greece to $1 billion 'a realistic target'

  66. 08/09 18:17

    Sports Tourism: Two great Greek athletes partner with Navarino challenge

  67. 08/09 16:06

    Museum of Cycladic Art Picasso show attracts over 20K visitors in two months

  68. 08/09 13:00

    Prime Minister: Greece will be the pleasant surprise in the Eurozone

  69. 08/09 11:59

    Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to speak in Astoria on September 25

  70. 08/09 00:06

    Religious Tourism: Feast Day of Theotokos Nativity celebrated in Greece

  71. 07/09 23:46

    Greek Orthodox Church marks century of vital work in Uganda (video)

  72. 07/09 21:18

    Study: Greece’s Golden Visa program very attractive for investors

  73. 07/09 18:42

    One extra ferry between Alexandroupolis-Samothrace from September 9-15

  74. 07/09 18:28

    EU Commission to focus on Greek PDO products at 84th TIF 2019

  75. 07/09 18:07

    Minister: Greece needs to win the digital governance wager

  76. 07/09 15:05

    Fisherman in Cyprus saves turtle with plastic ring around her neck (video)

  77. 07/09 14:56

    Huge Amphipolis monument to open possibly in Northern Greece by 2021

  78. 06/09 23:00

    Duchenne awareness event takes place in Greek capital of Athens

  79. 06/09 22:58

    Greek feta cheese becomes riddle for EU-Australia trade deal

  80. 06/09 21:57

    US Ambassador: Greece is ”the guardian of European energy security”

  81. 06/09 18:33

    Travel agency tips: Four reasons to visit Greece in September

  82. 06/09 15:32

    Investments in Greece dominate PM's meeting with US Trade Sec.

  83. 06/09 15:17

    Media: Piraeus tops Valencia as Mediterranean Sea's largest container port

  84. 06/09 15:08

    Greek 10-year bond yields dropped to new record low

  85. 05/09 23:00

    IATA: Trade war impacting international air freight demand

  86. 05/09 22:04

    IATA living up to the legacy of the Chicago convention

  87. 05/09 21:57

    Ambassador: US to do everything to support Greece’s economic growth

  88. 05/09 21:06

    Odyssey: The Chamber Music Society in Greece airs on PBS channel

  89. 05/09 20:37

    Grape harvest down by 30% in Greece due to climate change (video)

  90. 05/09 17:38

    TUI group’s flagship hotel brand expands in Asia by Spring 2020

  91. 05/09 15:37

    Greek unemployment rate dropped to 17% of the workforce in June 2019

  92. 05/09 15:35

    Insights by ehotelier: Winning strategies that can bring in new customers to hotels

  93. 05/09 14:50

    Bank of Greece governor considers 3% GDP growth in Q3 2019 possible

  94. 05/09 14:37

    Εmergency response to the wildfire in Nea Makri by new Attica Region

  95. 05/09 14:03

    Daimler subsidiary enters Greek city of Thessaloniki with e-scooters

  96. 05/09 13:39

    US Secretary of Commerce: Reduce taxes, 'red tape' and investments will flow

  97. 05/09 13:08

    Three Greek construction firms among Deloitte's 'Top-100' in the world

  98. 05/09 10:48

    Train services suspended in August return to normal in Greece on Monday

  99. 04/09 21:51

    Piraeus Port upgrades investment plan and waits for Greece's green light

  100. 04/09 21:34

    'Animasyros' international animation festival in Greek island on September 18-22